PDA

View Full Version : Thermos Cooking



Mr Adoby
05-04-2009, 08:08
In another thread (http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38473) outdoor thermos cooking is mentioned. This is something I've been practicing for some time. I suppose others do this as well? If you don't, then you've really missed out on something!

I use a Kelly Kettle and a small food thermos. And bring some different ingredients that I use to fix my breakfasts, lunches and suppers. The weight of the thermos is offset b not having to carry any fuel. Currently I use a half-liter Primus C & H Lunch Thermos (http://www.primus.se/Templates/Pages/ProductSheet.aspx?ItemId=60654 ). Weighs only 312 grams. And I eat directly from it. Can use it as a big mug for hot drinks as well.

Great for cooking the morning porridge with dried fruits and some powdered milk.

I often use dried minced meat. I use low-fat minced meat that i fry without any fat on a non-stick pan. Then I dry it in the oven. It'll keep for months if you store it dry and cool. I also use chicken meat that I cook without fat and then slice and dry.

It's perfectly possible to use dried fatter meats like pork, bacon or sliced sausages, but they won't keep as long. But for a weekend or so it should be more than fine! But fry or cook all meats first. Then dry it. Better safe than sorry...

Lentils are great also. Easy to cook!

There's plenty of alternatives for the carbs. 5 minut Uncle Ben rice. 3 minute pasta. Bulgur or cous-cous. Do I have to mention noodles?

Dried veggies are great. Carrots and potatoes I cook until *almost* done. Then slice and dry. There are many other veggies you can dry as well. Onions and peppers, for instance. Or buy some sundried tomatoes. Great in a soup.

Instant sauce mixes for pasta is a great base. Or soups. Just add water. Or perhaps some oil and powdered milk.

Stock in cubes, of course.

Spices and nuts. Whatever you like. Salt. Pepper. Curry and peanuts! :)

Some flour if you want to make a thicker soup or sauce.

Larger dried stuff I usually pre-heat in the thermos for a few minutes. Otherwise it may not be cooked enough. Dried chicken needs some time to be easy to chew.

Otherwise you usually just add the ingredients. Pour over boiling water. Close the thermos and shake. Wait for 10-20 minutes or more, depending on what you're cooking.

Meanwhile you can make or break camp. Look at the clouds or take a stroll with the camera. Perhaps you can forage some berries, roots or greens for the next meal?

And since this way of cooking is REALLY cheap, you can easily practice at home to perfect your own favorite outdoor food thermos dish! And save money while you do it! If you are used to bring freeze-dried stuff or MRE, then the food thermos will most likely pay for itself the first weekend out.

At home I actually have a bigger food thermos that I use a lot for cooking. Especially stuff that needs to be cooked for a long time. Beans and wheat for instance. Or a nice beef casserole. Cook for 10 minutes on the stove, then pour into the thermos. If it's supposed to cook really long, then I may give it a extra boil on the stove after a few hours, to keep the temperature up.

Please feel free to post your favorite food thermos recipy in this thread! ;)

About 100 grams of 3-minute spaghetti.
Ready-made powdered lasagne sauce mix.
Powdered milk.
Oil.
Dried carrots.
Dried fried minced meat.
Dried garlic.
Add boiling water and shake.
Shake again a few times during cooking.
Wait 15 minutes.
Open and stir.


Enjoy!

xylaria
05-04-2009, 09:18
After rikuk metioned it in a thread, I tried it, and must say I have no idea why it isn't more popular. I have a 1.8 litre drinks thermos, and though it isn't the right shape for cooking in, I put a family stew on and it is cooked to perfection in few hours.

As long as the what goes in it is hot, the range of what can cooked with a thermos is endless. It even does proper meat stock, nettle soup in made with chicken stock is lovely.

Toddy
05-04-2009, 09:32
The first time I mentioned taking a thermos flask along when camping nearly got me laughed off the forum :rolleyes:

I still think it's an excellent way of retaining heat in liquids and it's a really useful cooking method too.
Rice and lentils, dried veggies, tvp, all things that take time in hot liquid, are simple in it.

The best one I have found for cooking is a wide mouthed coffee flask from Ikea :) Even after 24 hours hot water is hot enough to burn skin.

cheers,
Toddy

redandshane
05-04-2009, 10:12
I have always seen a thrrmos as something I took on day trips instead of cooking up with a stove etc but this thread has got my jaded brain thinking
As is usual for me it will need to percolate away for a few hours or days
Probably give it a bash next time I am out though
Certainly at times when weight/bulk is not an issue

Thanks for planting this seed

harryhaller
05-04-2009, 13:18
I have tried both a thermos and the strawbox for cooking and I prefer the straw box.

At home, you can put the pans directly into the box without having to pour them into a thermos: you save heat and on washing up afterwards. Plus, you can put so much more in.

I haven't yet tried it outside since I don't cook much outside but I imagine that the straw box would be much lighter and easier to pack. After all, it would be just a cardboard box folded down flat. It could also be already lined with some alu-polysterene type insulation. Put your pot in the cardboard box, stuff it with spare clothing, dry leaves, grass or just anything else you've got in your rucksack or which is lying around.

Theoretically, you wouldn't even need a cardboard box because you could use your rucksack or sleeping bag as the outer container. You could also just dig a hole in the ground, assuming it wasn't winter, and stuff that with anything that insulates and then cover it over.

Certainly, at home or in the woods, we could save an awful lot of fuel using this method.

Mr Adoby
05-04-2009, 18:05
When you cook larger quantities, then I agree, a strawbox is great. I sometimes use a part of an old army wool blanket as a "cosy" at home.

But by using a thermos you get some of the same advantages even when you cook smaller quantities of food. For instance a single portion of rice and curry.

And combined with a Kelly Kettle, this is a great way to cook for me on solo trips. I don't bring any fuel or plates or pots at all! Just the Kelly Kettle, the thermos, a spork and a kåsa. And eat directly from the thermos. I wash up by filling the thermos with water and shake. Repeat until done.

Curry and rice. (The Swedish way.. :P)

Preheat the thermos with small amount of boiling water. Pour out on dried chicken to soak.

Two tablespoons powdered milk.
One tablespoon flour.
Chicken stock.
Curry and other spices as you wish.
1 dash oil.
Add 1 1/2 deciliters boiling water. Quickly close and shake like crazy for 30 seconds.

Open up. Add a layer of dried chicken. Pre-soaked preferably.
Pour Uncle Ben 5-minute rice on top, almost all the way.
Fill with boiling water.
Close and wait 15 minutes.

Open and stir. Add peanuts. Perhaps some dried fruit? :)

gunslinger
05-04-2009, 19:00
The best one I have found for cooking is a wide mouthed coffee flask from Ikea :) Even after 24 hours hot water is hot enough to burn skin.

cheers,
Toddy

Do you buy any chance have a model name or a link please Toddy ??

GS

Mang
05-04-2009, 19:06
Even after 24 hours hot water is hot enough to burn skin.


So I guess in a way it could be looked on a bit like a slow cooker...?

Toddy
05-04-2009, 19:10
Mine's a least four years old now, so I doubt it'd be the same model exactly, but it's the one that offices buy to keep fresh coffee hot during meetings.

Stainless steel with a glass liner and a black phenolic screw in cap and handle.

I did a trial with it against my big Thermos, and it was an impressive 15oC hotter the next day than the Thermos one.
Certainly hot enough that if it's filled at night with just boiled water, it's fine for tea and coffee for breakfast. :)

I'll have a look at Ikea's catalogue.

cheers,
Toddy

rik_uk3
05-04-2009, 20:54
The first time I mentioned taking a thermos flask along when camping nearly got me laughed off the forum :rolleyes:

I still think it's an excellent way of retaining heat in liquids and it's a really useful cooking method too.
Rice and lentils, dried veggies, tvp, all things that take time in hot liquid, are simple in it.

The best one I have found for cooking is a wide mouthed coffee flask from Ikea :) Even after 24 hours hot water is hot enough to burn skin.

cheers,
Toddy

Even better, get an old glass lined Thermos with cork stopper, they are just better at retaining heat IMHO.

I have a pre WW2 ceramic lined flask, if flask is the right word, it holds LOTS and comes with 4 aluminium mugs, its wide mouthed but would need a 4x4 to carry it. Shamed to say I've not tried it, so I'll get it from the lock up give it a clean and a try out. The newer Thermos Thermax range are fantastic. I got two of the BCB army flasks, they are OK, but only good for about three hours.

I started this thread with little expectation of it being so well received, I'm pleasantly surprised.

jimford
05-04-2009, 21:13
I have a MSR Titan Kettle and a Coleman F1 Lite stove (like a Pocket Rocket, but cheaper, at least as efficient, but not so fashionable).

The dried food I cook needs simmering for 10mins or so, but I turn off the gas when it comes to the boil, and put the kettle in a cosy I made out of radiator insulation foam+foil and put it to one side. The food continues to cook in the cosy and is still too hot to eat after 20 mins.

Jim

Toddy
05-04-2009, 21:18
I think that's a very valid point Rik; the stopper makes a huge difference.

The coffee pot one is a great big screw in bung, not a thin thing or even worse, one that opens up to hold something inside.

Heat rises; the better insulated the bung/ cork/ screw fitting, surely the better the flask will be at retaining heat ?

cheers,
Toddy

harryhaller
05-04-2009, 21:19
I started this thread with little expectation of it being so well received, I'm pleasantly surprised.

It was this post (http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=515599&postcount=28) of yours which drove me to go and get the book you mentioned and try and out the strawbox method:)

smoggy
06-04-2009, 00:24
I usually have a stainless steel flask in acompanyment to my Eco Kettle......and fill it when I boil for coffee.....this then allows me to make subsiquent cups without relighting the Eco as I'm a bit of a coffee addict or have hot water on hand for washing etc.......

Flask Cookery! novel idea, bit like a pressure cooker in some respects.....definately handy to know about and as I say, I've got the gear with me I may just try it out some time!

Thanks for posting.

Smoggy.

Mang
06-04-2009, 08:14
one that opens up to hold something inside.


I've got stoppers like that...they permenantly hold polystyrene balls!

Toddy
06-04-2009, 09:18
Oh good idea :D
I've got two thermos ones like that and they only keep hot for maybe four or five hours.

cheers,
Toddy

EdS
06-04-2009, 14:38
I have a pre WW2 ceramic lined flask, if flask is the right word, it holds LOTS and comes with 4 aluminium mugs, its wide mouthed but would need a 4x4 to carry it. .


Have 4x4 looking for flask big enough to keep me in tea for aday :lmao:

MancsMan
06-04-2009, 15:28
I replaced the pot cosy with two 440ml wide mouths from Asda a few years ago, they still have them @2.95. Great for a two night sleep over, one with a hot stew, curry etc, for first night (then cooked porridge, for breakfast), and a frozen for the second, for the frozen if you find a container slightly smaller than the neck and/or body of the flask, freeze then add to flask on leaving. Great time, space and fuel savers…